Transformation of Land Tenure and the Role of Peasant Associations in Eastern Arsii (1974-1991)

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Addis Ababa University


Attempts have hither to been made to study the various socio-economic and political aspects of Arsii’s land tenure by Ethiopian and expatriate scholars. In the earlier research works of different scholars the socio-economic and political conditions of Arsii after the land reform and the process of its transformation have not received attention. This work, therefore attempts to examine thoroughly basic feature of man and land relation among the Arsii Oromo and changes that had occurred as a result of the appearance of the new settlers; the eviction of tenants resulted from intensive mechanized commercial farming by tractor cultivation and prerequisites made by Chilao Agricultural Development Unit (CADU) for rural land proclamation. Moreover, problems related with the implementation of the activities endeavored by rural institutions which appeared after the land reform and consequences which led to their disintegration are examined. The study is conducted employing three methods of collecting and analyzing historical sources. Collection of oral interview is the basic method employed to obtain data for this research. Informants consulted represented elders and adults of different ethnic and religious groups possessing rich knowledge on activities of CADU-ARDU (Arsii Rural Development Unit), rural institutions and implementation of the land reform during the period of Darg administration of Arsii with reference to rural population. The second category of the sources employed is archival materials. Considerable amount of variable documents and archives on the Darg regime in Arsii were destroyed during the change of government in 1991 and a few years after. Archives in the awarja and administrative region peasant associations offices were either damaged when the offices were wrecked or deliberately destructed by leaders of rural institutions so as to get rid of rescue of accountability. I only found archival materials in eastern Arsii zone Administration office (the then Arsii Regional Administration office) and ARDU’s Library and documentation center. Published and unpublished written source (books, articles, Journals, theses, news papers, publications and proclamations) have been utilized for the research. Most of these secondary sources were obtained from the Addis Ababa University (Institute of Ethiopian studies and J.F. Kennedy Memorial Libraries) and ARDU library and documentation center. Shortage of archival sources and the dearth of written materials has been a challenge in the reconstruction of this thesis



Peasant Associations